Musical Futures - Steps to Success in GCSE Music, London

The Musical Futures approach to connecting theory to practice with easy steps to success to integrating GCSE listening, composing and performing

Tue 25th Jun 2019, 10am - 4.00pm
Hayes School, West Common Road, Hayes, Bromley BR2 7DB
Book Your Place Tickets from £75


Our Musical Futures: Steps to Success in GCSE Music full day workshop gives ideas and strategies for teaching at this level which are both musical and theoretical:

  • Explore practical approaches to the analysis of GCSE music set works and preparation for listening and appraising tasks through workshopping, composing and improvising
  • Support students to transition successfully from Key Stage 3 (where music frequently has a focus on practical work – to the demands of GCSE music:
  • Make GCSE more accessible for all students and specifically those students who may not have come to study GCSE via formal instrumental lessons.
  • Research shows that students are more likely retain the learning if they are actively engaged in the process.

Note: Delegates will be able to access the relevant support resources for the exam board they are using.

Aims of the course

  • Explore creative and practical approaches to listening, appraising, composing and performing to make key terms and concepts easier to learn.  ​
  • Analyse/understand music using performing and composing activities related to GCSE set works.
  • Develop tools to increase student skill and confidence with improvising and composing.
  • Share ideas and resources to make GCSE music vital, practical and engaging.
  • All Musical Futures courses are delivered by teachers in classroom settings and where possible, include a session that involves students so that delegates can see the approaches in action.


Start With A Set Work – Performance

  • Exploring a GCSE set work to examine specific musical features as a basis for classroom performance
  • Developing student knowledge and understanding of key musical concepts through classroom performance.

Start With A Set Work – Composition

  • Exploring a set work (examples from all major examination boards available) to identify key features typical of a style or genre as a stimulus for student composition.
  • Identifying strategies to assist students with composing using improvisation to collaboratively create and compose new works that reflect the key features of a style or genre.

Composing and Improvising

  • Ideas and resources to connect listening and composing briefs
  • Using a rhythmic groove as a starting point.
  • Developing melodic ideas by adding instrumental lines
  • Exploring structure, texture, complimentary chords and other musical features to develop compositions further.

Songwriting – Applying creative skills to a task

  • Exploring a series of starting points for songwriting​
  • Using a variety of approaches, practical activities and resources to support your students with the songwriting process!

Who is it for?

This course is particularly suited to teachers who are interested in exploring practical approaches to teaching music at examination level, but is equally suitable anyone seeking ideas and inspiration for composition and improvisation.

  • Heads of Music
  • Secondary Music specialists
  • Classroom music teachers
  • Instrumental teachers
  • Trainee music teachers
  • Newly Qualified music teachers

Steps to Success in GCSE Music Outline

What's included?

  • A full day training course delivered in a school setting and where possible, involving a class of students
  • Your choice of Start With A Set Work Resource pack complete with ideas for performing and composing guidance notes & resources as modelled during the workshop
  • Your choice of GCSE set work playalong (options from all exam board specifications available)
  • Musical Futures Songwriting resource
  • Refreshments and lunch

Note: Delegates following the OCR GCSE exam specification are welcome to attend as much of the content will be also applicable.

Benefits of Musical Futures training

Teachers who use of Musical Futures in schools report:

  • An increase in numbers of students taking up instrumental lessons on a wider range of instruments
  • Increased student participation in concerts and performances
  • Better engagement with classroom music for all ages
  • Greater satisfaction in relation to their teaching and own musicianship​

Book Your Place

Professional development is offered at rates starting at £125 per person, and includes:

  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Access to all resources
  • Free Musical Futures basic membership.

For students in full time education, completing a PGCE or on School Direct you can take advantage of our student rate of £75.  Please bring your student ID with you to the event.


Cancellation policy: read our terms and conditions HERE

Secure your place by booking online using the form below. All courses are payable via credit/debit card, PayPal or invoice. For more information contact or call 020 7250 8323




Book by May 28th to receive the Early Bird discount of £20 on a Standard ticket

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Book by June 21st

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For students in full time education, completing a PGCE or on School Direct. Please bring your student ID with you to the event. Book by 21st June

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Jane Werry – Musical Futures Senior Trainer

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The Musical Futures training sessions are all run highly professionally with a great atmosphere. The practical hands-on approach allows delegates to experience it from the perspective of the students.
Caroline Stott - Head of Music, Corpus Christi Catholic College, Leeds

Terms & Conditions

For information about our cancellation policy and other conditions of booking please read our full Terms & Conditions